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Essebsi Approves Law of Reconciliation with Former Regime Officials

Essebsi Approves Law of Reconciliation with Former Regime Officials

Wednesday, 25 October, 2017 - 09:45
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi delivers a speech in Tunis, Tunisia May 10, 2017. Reuters

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi approved Tuesday the basic law on Administrative Reconciliation with the symbols of the former regime, ending the controversy that was referred to him by a constitutional monitoring body for bills after failing to reach a decision.

Three members of the body supported the appeal of this law while other three members approved it. Therefore, the body referred it to the President, who was able to return it to Parliament, which he ratified last month.

However, Essebsi took the decision to pass the law, which will have many repercussions on the political scene, especially in the relationship of opposition with the ruling coalition.

Political Analyst Jamal al-Arfawi said that the passage of this law was agreed by Ennahda Movement and Nidaa Tounes party, considering that electoral goals lie behind the insistence on this law, which is difficult to result in significant changes on the economic level or the level of investment opportunities in Tunisia.

This law has witnessed developments and fluctuations since the President has proposed it to the parliament in July 2015.

The opposition has criticized the law and considered it an attempt for impunity and accountability and obstruction for the transitional justice law that includes stages of accountability and openness before reconciliation.

In an attempt to dismantle the file and convince opposing political parties of the feasibility of ratifying this law, administrative reconciliation and reconciliation with businessmen have been separated, especially with regard to the violation of foreign currency exchange laws.

Opposition parties accused the president of "rewarding" a group of businessmen who financed his party's "Nidaa Tunis" campaign in the 2014 elections.

Leaders of Nidaa Tunis party defended the law and said it aimed to "create a suitable environment that encourages initiating in the management and advancement in the national economy and boosting confidence in state institutions.”

Notably, the final version of the passed law only considers public officials who didn't obtain direct or indirect personal benefits, while removing articles on infractions of the exchanges.

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